Four hundred and forty one yachts (over 4,400 competitors), sailing across 19 classes and divisions sailing at Audi Victoria Week at the Docklands and in Geelong – it could not get much better for Australia’s largest and Victoria’s oldest sporting event, now in its 166th year and featuring the largest number of boats at any regatta anywhere in Australia.
Only 16 boats short of last year’s record entry, the event welcomed Audi, the German luxury carmaker, aboard as the naming rights sponsor this year after previously sponsoring the Audi King of the Docklands.
Apart from the outstanding sailing program, hosted by Royal Geelong Yacht Club which does such an incredible job each year, the weeklong event features some great onshore entertainment such as Daryl Braithwaite, Wendy Matthews, Brian Mannix and lots lots more singing crowd favourites.
The annual Bay FM Fireworks Spectacular were even more impressive than ever, the RAAF Roulettes aerobatics crew, to the free William Angliss Institute ‘Go Sailing’ program, the Victorian Beach Volleyball tournament there truly is something for everyone at Audi Victoria Week. Noticeably missing was Pip Borrman and his aerobatic display. Borrman died shortly after this event last year doing what he loved best – flying.
John Bertrand AM, Patron of Audi Victoria Week took in the racing and joined other big names of sailing at the Melbourne Yacht Club Hotel hosted Breakfast with the Stars at the Docklands where the weeklong activities kicked off.
Bertrand, who skippered Australia II to victory in the 1983 America’s Cup, was joined at the breakfast by a cast of Olympic medallists, world champions, around the world sailors and speed record breakers including Darren Bundock, Elise Rechichi, Nathan Outteridge, Nick Moloney, Adrienne Cahalan.
Geelong is looking smarter too. New shops, eateries and lighting have updated the town which was once again inundated by sailors and holiday makers from around Australia and the world.
For the first time anyone can remember, a boat sank in the Melbourne to Geelong Passage Race. Greg Cooper and Peter Southwell’s Adams 10 ‘Ten Too’ from Victoria sank approximately 10 nautical miles after the start of the Passage Race at Audi Victoria Week today following a collision with Leo Cantwell’s Cavalier Magic Bullet’. Fortunately all jumped aboard Magic Bullet safely before Ten Too went to the bottom.